Faculty Bios

DSC_0176StephanaArnoldemail (2)Stephana Arnold (National Ballet School, soloist  Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet BC)

Professional Program Classical  Ballet, Contemporary Ballet and Contemporary; CatchingART resident choreographer

Ms. Arnold attended the National Ballet School of Canada where she received the prestigious Peter Dwyer Award and Honours standing on her Intermediate and Advanced Cecchetti  Ballet Examinations. Upon graduation, she danced with several small companies before joining the National Ballet of Canada from 1992-1995. In 1996, Ms. Arnold joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal and quickly rose to First Soloist. She danced a wide and eclectic variety of principal and soloist roles from Concerto Barocco, Nutcracker, Queen of Spades, Giselle and Symphony of Songs to name a few. She was also a favourite muse for many choreographers and worked with such names as Eduoard Lock, Shawn Hounsell, O’had Naharin, Jiri Kylian and Kevin O’Day.  2003 brought Ms. Arnold to Ballet BC where she danced an extensive array of principal roles, from the Woman in Conversation Piece, Tatiana in Faerie Queen, Stella in Streetcar Named Desire and her most notable and last, Carmen in February 2007 and where she was also company teacher from 2004-08. Currently, Ms. Arnold is a sought after teacher for both classical and contemporary as well as adjudicating at dance festival competitions. She is also an ISSA certified personal trainer, conducting her own fusion body conditioning classes. 

Tania Brossoit

Tania Brossoit  (graduate RAD Academy, England; RAD Ambassador)

Professional and Pre-Professional Programs Classical  Ballet; ISTD Ballet Grades; RAD Ballet Vocational Examinations

Ms. Brossoit was born in England and is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dancing Teacher Training Program. There, she gained extensive training in Ballet, ISTD Modern, National, Jazz, and Character Dance alongside dance anatomy, dance history, child psychology and classical repertoire. Ms. Brossoit had the good fortune to be taught and gained her extensive knowledge of the classical repertoire from many wonderful dancers of the Royal Ballet. Teachers included Antoinette Sibley, Merle Park, Monica Mason, Nicola Katrak, Natalia Markova, Anthony Dowell, Phyllis Bedells, Keith Lester, (the Diaghilev method, ) Rachel Cameron, ( the Karsavina Method) Jane Dudley (Martha Graham), and many of the RAD top examiners. Ms. Brossoit came to Canada in 1985 and she owned and operated a highly successful dance studio on Vancouver Island from 1991 through the year 2000. She has spent the last thirteen years in Vancouver, teaching at the Richmond Academy of Dance, training dancers of all ages, including those in the professional division training program. Known for her love and passion for dance and for her exceptional work with young dancers, Tania produces a high standard of training and exam results. She is also an avid dance science researcher, and has studied at length, the physiology and biomechanics of the body and strongly applies these principles to her teaching.  Many of her students have gone on to dance in major companies and theatre productions or have continued their training at some of the most respected institutes around the world. She has been sought after for many years as guest teacher and adjudicator around BC and has instructed in various summer schools within the province. Choreography is also a passion for Ms. Brossoit, and her choreography is often  recognized for its diversity and annually receives honorable awards. Ms. Brossoit has had the good fortune to work with some of the world’s leading dance experts and feels blessed to be able to share this wealth of knowledge with all the young dancers she has the good fortune to teach.

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Beverley Bagg (PACT Ballet Company, Ballet BC, Alberta Ballet)

Professional Program Classical  Ballet and Coaching

Ms. Bagg began her training in both RAD and Cechetti in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has transitioned from a dancer into a master teacher. She was accepted at the Royal Ballet School in London, England, and danced soloist and principal roles with the PACT Ballet Company in South Africa for 15 years. Among the roles she performed were Bluebird and Princess Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty, Odette/Odile from Swan Lake, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Coppélia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Giselle in Giselle, Kitri in Nureyev’s production of Don Quixote, and the lead in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. She has also performed works by renowned choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, John Cranko, Goh Choo San, André Prokovsky, and Sir Frederick Ashton.  Ms. Bagg has a diploma in biomechanics and physiology from the University of the Witwatersrand and integrates this knowledge into her teaching. Since immigrating to Canada, Ms. Bagg has been invited as a guest teacher to various companies and schools in the USA and Canada. She was Ballet Mistress of Ballet BC and Alberta Ballet and has been instrumental in staging Swan Lake and Giselle for South African Ballet Theatre and Washington Ballet.   Spanning over 40 years of a passionate and very successful career as a professional dancer, teacher and coach, Ms. Bagg is able to draw on this experience and offer a rich and insightful approach to teaching and coaching. She establishes an environment of positive energy and demands excellence in a nurturing and inspiring manner.

Yana Dragieva (BA Classical Ballet Pedagogy)

Professional Program Classical Ballet, Character Dance

Ms. Dragieva graduated from the  State Music University  ”P.Vladigerov”  (Sofia, Bulgaria) with a B.A. specializing in Classical Ballet Pedagogy.  She went on to dance professionally with the Varna Opera House,  Sofia State Music Theatre, “SAGA”   Dance Company and  “Sarrasany” Company. Ms Dragieva has also completed courses in Classical Ballet Methodology (Vaganova Technique), Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)  and has a minor in Kinesiology from the university of Montreal where she taught at major dance schools from 2002 – 2007. Ms. Dragieva comes to us after spending  five years as “Head of the Dance Department” for the Ballet and Music Company Ltd in Singapore. Ms. Dragieva currently also teaches and coaches  at Coastal City Ballet.

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Desirée Dunbar (MFA Dance)

Professional Program Modern & Improv Techniques

Ms. Dunbar is an award winning choreographer and the creator of gush.com.  She lights the way for her students to embrace their gifts, fill up their personal development toolbox and activate their potential. She is one of the few Canadians to teach the traditional Martha Graham technique and has had the honour of instructing at various schools including Simon Fraser University, University of Arizona, Centre National de la Danse (Paris, France) and Trintity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance (London, UK). Her company Dezza Dance is Artist-in-Residence with the City of Vancouver and is currently in rehearsals for a new work, A Port in the Storm premiering at the historic Aberthau Mansion in West Point Grey in November 2017.

Kim Dixon (BFA Dance SFU; AISTD(dip) (Modern) Teaching Associate; AFSA International Advanced Associate Acrobatic Teacher)

Professional and Pre-Professional Programs ISTD Modern, Contemporary

Ms. Dixon began her training in ISTD Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and AFSA Acrobatics at the age of six in North Vancouver.  In the past two decades, she has graduated from SFU with a BFA in contemporary dance, studied a wide variety of contemporary techniques in Ghana, Brazil and the US including Edam Dance while on scholarship, American Dance Festival in North Carolina and New York as well as performed herself as a company member of Lamon Dance.  Ms. Dixon has an Associate Diploma in Modern Theatre from the ISTD, and an Advanced Associate Teaching qualification from AFSA International.  As a teacher, Ms. Dixon has been successfully entering students into Modern and Acrobatics exams for the past number of years.  In addition to her teaching accomplishments, Ms. Dixon has worked with many well-known contemporary choreographers and dancers from around the world.  A choreographer herself, her pieces have been performed across North America and Europe at various festivals and galas and have won numerous awards and received recognition for innovation and creativity. Having studied all the styles of dance Ms Dixon believes strongly in versatility and encourages young dancers to embrace a wide diversity of dance genre and technical training.  It is her pleasure and passion to be able to invest in the next generation of artists so that they might reach their potential and demonstrate the necessity of performing arts in our society.

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Montana Moore (ISTD Advanced 2 Modern)

Professional and Pre-Professional Programs Jazz & Lyrical

Ms. Moore began her training in RAD ballet at the age of 5, and went on to complete her RAD Advanced 1 and ISTD Modern Advanced 2 examinations with distinction at Pro Arte. During her intense years of training, she was selected to attend many summer dance intensives including Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet and Modas Dance in New Mexico and was awarded  as one of NYCDA’S Senior Outstanding Dancer Scholarships.  After graduating, Ms. Moore was selected to dance with Harbour Dance Center’s Intensive training Program (ITP), under the direction and training of Moe Brody, Liz Tookey, Pam Rosa and many others, where she would train in all styles of dance, voice, acting and other dance related studies. Ms. Moore has trained in other Vancouver-based dance companies including The Aviary, under the direction of Julio Fuentes   which focuses on jazz-funk, contemporary-jazz and hip-hop. Currently Ms. Moore is training in a hip-hop based training company, Kill The Lights Co. (KTL), under the direction of Ken Yung and Shauna Smith. Her dedication has lead to many opportunities including recent music videos, performing for We Day at Rogers Arena, the 102nd Grey Cup Kickoff Show with Dallas Smith at BC Place, St. Paul’s Brilliant! and many more. In addition to pursuing her love for dance, she is continuing her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology entering her final year at UBC. Ms. Moore aims to incorporate her knowledge from psychology and her love for dance into her teaching to create a positive and inspiring learning environment for students. She is honoured to have the opportunity to teach young dancers and to help create a place for them to learn, grow and inspire one another.

_DSC8585-2Sophia Curalli (AISTD Imperial Ballet & Modern Teaching Associate; ARAD)

Pre-Professional Program & ISTD Ballet Grades

Ms. Curalli began her training in ISTD Ballet and Modern at Pro Arte at age seven. She went on to complete RAD Advanced 2 Ballet, ISTD Advanced 2 Ballet and ISTD Advanced 2 Modern as well as her Associate Teachers qualification in both ballet and modern. She was a member of Pro Arte’s CatchingART Aspirant Company in 2013 and 2014. Music is a passion for Ms. Curalli.  She uses her voice as a solo vocalist at her church and also appears singing jazz standards in restaurants around Vancouver.  Piano is her instrument of choice and she has completed her grade 10 RCM piano examination. Ms. Curalli appeared in Theatre Under the Star’s “Hairspray” in 2015 and “Mary Poppins” 2017. Not only has Ms. Curalli performed, she has directed and choreographed ‘Cabaret for a Cure’, a fundraising show for the cancer ward at BC Children’s Hospital. She continues to study as a scholarship student at Simon Fraser University. Ideally, she would like to use her business studies to work on the “other side of the desk” in a fine arts environment! Being a teacher is something that Ms. Curalli has aspired to ever since she was a young girl and she is thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with children as they discover the beauty of dance!

Processed with MOLDIVLeah Kos  (Stepping Tones International, SDTA – Associates, BA, BED, BCDEA)

Tap

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Leah began her training as a young dancer at the age of 4 at the Pat Prestwich School of Dance studying the SDTA Highland Syllabus, and Stepping Tones (Al Gilbert / MusicWorks Unlimited) Tap, Jazz and Musical Theatre. In 1986, Leah auditioned and was selected among hundreds to perform at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. Never the shy one, Leah performed a song and dance solo on the Plaza of Nations and performed various group numbers on other stages around the exhibition. As she continued to grow as a dancer, she competed in various dance festivals, highland competitions and championships, trained and travelled with the SFU Pipe Team, performed on cruise ships, and toured with Al Gilbert (“The Pied Piper of Dance”) when he came to BC for examinations and guest choreography. Leah kept up with her dance training after high school taking classes while working on her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees at UVIC and VIU. Completing her teaching degree in 2003, Leah is now a full-time high school teacher teaching English, Social Studies, and Performing Arts. Since 2006, Leah has worked at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts as a Teacher and Choreographer where her dancers consistently achieved great results at various festivals and competitions, including the BC Performing Arts Provincial Festival. She spent 3 seasons as Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Kirkwood Youth Dance Company touring with the company in LA (Disneyland: Dance the Magic), New York (Steps on Broadway, Minskoff Theatre, Dance the Magic), and to various events and performances around Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Leah loves any opportunity to provide the gift of dance to young dancers and is looking forward to working with the Pro Arte dancers this season!

Suzanne-Ouellette

Susanne Ouellette

Musical Theatre Workshops/Guest Teacher

Ms Suzanne Ouellette is originally from Vancouver and has trained and danced with some of the worlds finest ballet companies from Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She was Ballet Mistress for Ballet BC for 5 years and was the founding director of Ballet B.C.’s Mentor Program.  She performed as a lead dancer, singer and actress in numerous musical theatres across Canada including the iconic Vancouver Playhouse production of A Chorus Line, Calgary’s Stage West’s, TUTS, MUSSOC and Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage.  She has extensive TV/FILM choreographic credits including CBC TV specials, Columbia Pictures promos, Feature films for Showtime and the Fox network and various TV series for the Fox network. Some of her most recent achievements are, Royal City Musical Theatre as choreographer for “My Fair Lady” April 2015, where she has also been the Artistic Associate for the past 3 years, Choreographer for UBC Opera Department’s production of “The Merry Widow”, choreographer for the Kay Meek Youth Conservatory and production, staging the Vancouver Opera’s Bravo Gala, The Richmond Gateway Theatre’s musicals, Sound of Music,  The King and IThe Secret Garden, and Brigadoon.  She also writes a monthly feature article for Just Dance Magazine entitled “Suzanne sits down with….”  Suzanne’s passion, enthusiasm, and extensive background in many facets of the performing arts, make her in great demand as a ballet / musical theatre teacher, choreographer, rehearsal director and adjudicator.

Erika MayallErika Mayall (M.P.T, HBSc (kin))

Pro Arte on-site Physiotherapist

Erika Mayall began dancing at the age of 3 and continued to dance full time on the North Shore throughout her elementary and high school career.  She completed her ISTD Advanced 2 Modern as well as Advanced 1 Ballet and Tap examinations.  Through years of dancing and part time teaching, Erika developed a keen interest in the human body and movement analysis.  This led to an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario with a specialization in Athletic Injuries, and a further Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of British Columbia.  Erika currently works in a private practice setting specializing in orthopaedic and sports related injuries with a focus on dance related injuries.  She has a keen interest in not only treating dance related injuries, but also preventing injury and maximizing performance potential of each dancer.  Erika has completed specialized training in the field of dance medicine in both Australia and the United States and has studied with leaders in the field such as Craig Phillips and Lisa Howell.  Erika is an active member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and has been invited to present at conferences in the United Kingdom and Singapore. Together with Astrid Sherman, she continues to conduct research and expand her knowledge in the field of dance medicine.

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Susie Higgins (Body Control Pilates Instructor (UK)/non-practising Physiotherapist)

Pilates

Susie Higgins found her way to Pilates through her original profession as a physiotherapist working mainly with sports injuries and spinal problems.  She is a certified Bodycontrol Pilates (UK) Instructor and teaches one on one or group Pilates for Fitness, clinical Pilates (rehabilitation, MS and Parkinson’s) as well as pre and postnatal Pilates out of two studios on the Northshore and teaches at Pro Arte Centre. Determined to address the specific needs of dancers from early on in their dance training, Susie is working with Pro Arte Centre to set up Pilates based exercise programs and to provide education on anatomy, injuries and injury prevention. This will provide the dancer with another set of tools to draw from in their everyday training and at those times when injury demands specific rehabilitation.

Dhana Musil (certified Iyengar yoga instructor/Bsc Applied Nutrition)

Yoga & Nutrition

Dhana Musil  is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and Nutritionist, with a strong background in anatomy and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Nutrition. She began exploring yoga’s therapeutic effects and food as medicine in her late teens during her extensive global travels. Dhana discovered the world of Iyengar yoga through senior teacher Ingelise Nherlan in 1992. She spent over a decade traveling and living in Asia where she raised her daughter, taught and worked as a Doula. She has studied with many Senior Iyengar teachers and currently is teaching Iyengar yoga to adults, ballet students and children’s yoga classes in schools. Visit Dhana’s website: www.Dhana.ca

Frances Brodhead 

Costume & Wardrobe Head

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